The Best Student Credit Cards in 2016- Reviews & Comparisons
Student credit cards were created to give young adults the opportunity to begin establishing a credit history buy owning a credit card. Because young adults often have no history of credit trustworthiness, these credit cards come with high interest penalties if card holders do not make timely payments, however, if the card holder is responsible and makes their timely payments than student credit cards are a great way to build up your credit score.
We will be comparing and contrasting 4 major college student credit cards to help you decide which one is the best for you, if any. These are the Discover It Card for Students, the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card, The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card, and the US Bank College Rewards card.
We will be comparing the APR rates, the fees for certain transactions, and the features associated with each card. The APR (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge) is your cost of borrowing and is essentially the interest rate you will pay if you do not make your payments on time. You can avoid paying interest most of the time by making at least the minimum payment on your account, usually the higher of $25 a month or 1% of all transactions. If you fail to make minimum payments and you begin to accrue interest, you could potentially damage your credit score in the long run and incur hefty fines.
Some of these cards integrate a rewards program so you can earn cash back on certain purchases. We will also be looking at the specifics of these rewards programs, incentives built into the programs, and certain features that may help to distinguish the options.
Discover It Student
The Discover It Card has no annual fee. Discover has a pretty good rewards system giving you 2% cash back on the first $1000 spent each fiscal quarter. Discover Card also doubles your rewards for the first year. One of the features that really stood out was the GPA bonus reward which gives you $20 for each semester your GPA remains over a 3.0 for up to five years! That means you can earn up to $200 from your bank just for maintaining a B average. APR ranges from 12.99% to 21.99% based on your credit history.
Balance transfers are at the lowest APR rate of any College Credit Card 10.99% and cash advances are at the highest APR rate of 24.99%. The due date for payments is 25 days after the end of period. Cash advances incur a fee of $10 or 5% of all transactions. All credit lines must be at least $500 and rewards do not expire. There is no late fee the first time you miss a payment but every other time after that will lead to a $35 fee. To qualify for this card you must be a college student and there is no bonus for paying on time.
Capital One Journey Student
The Capital One Journey Student Card has no annual fee. You can earn up to 1% cash back on all purchases regardless of their nature, there is no GPA bonus and APR is at a flat and steep 19.8% same for cash advances. Payments are due 25 days after the end of the period. Cash advances wil incur a fee of $10 or 3%, the lowest of any student credit card. Late fees can be up to $35 and your credit line will be at least $300. Rewards do not expire and you do not have to be a college student to qualify.
A unique feature of the Capital One Journey Student card is that if you pay your bills on time you will receive a cash back onus equal to 25% of your accumulated earned rewards for that, meaning your effective cash back amount is 1.25% if you pay on time. Also, there are no foreign transaction fees.
Wells Fargo Cash Back College
The Wells Fargo Cash Back college card has no annual fees. The rewards program gives you 3% back on purchases of gas, groceries, and drugs, the highest rate for rewards programs but limited in its application. After 6 months the 3% cash back rate drops down to 1%. APR can be as low as 0% for the first year but after that rates jump to a number between 11.15% and 21.15% based on your credit history. Cash advances have a steady 23.99% rate, late fees are a whopping $38. Rewards do not expire, you do not have to be a college student to apply for this card and foreign transactions will incur a 3% charge.
US Bank College Visa
As you may have guessed, this college card from US bank has no annual fee. Unfortunately there are no rewards programs incorporated into its program. APR ranges from 11.99 to 20.99% and cash advances carry a 23.99% rate as well. Due date is 24-30 days after end of period, late fees are $38 and foreign transactions are 3%. With very few features and some of the highest interest rates and fees, this isn’t the best option for college credit cards.